Thieves Steal Marshall Fundamental’s Band Instruments – Prompting Outpouring of Support

Update: The musical instruments and equipment stolen from the Mighty Eagles Marching Band has apparently been recovered by Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies Friday night

Published : Thursday, March 5, 2015 | 6:17 PM

The Marshall Fundamental School's Might Eagles Marching Band.


[Updated March 7, 2015 ]  Instruments and equipment stolen from Marshall Fundamental School’s Mighty Eagles Marching Band which prompted an outpouring of public support for the forlorn students were recovered Friday by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies. Deputies recovered the equipment after they saw and chased a suspicious man rummaging through a Mercedes Benz station wagon in the 2800 block of East Colorado Boulevard about 9:30 p.m., a  Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy told local media. For more, see Stolen Band Equipment Recovered by Sheriff’s Deputies.]

[Updated March 6, 2015| Editor’s Note:  Since Pasadena Now broke this story Thursday afternoon, a lot has happened.  Most importantly, Pasadena Unified spokesperson Adam Wolfson said Friday afternoon, instruments have been found for the Mighty Eagles to use temporarily in order to perform in Friday night’s All District Music Festival and at Disneyland on Saturday. The matter of permanent instruments to replace the stolen ones remains unresolved, as does the issue of providing secure instrument storage.  Pasadena Now’s article was read over 13,000 times overnight. The GoFundMe account we encouraged a band member’s mother to create has, as of this writing, pulled in $5,537 in 17 hours. Pasadena Now has received offers of help for the band from many people and organizations — including the Music Center and The Colburn School in downtown Los Angeles.]


Thieves stole more than instruments when they broke into the Marshall Fundamental School Band Room on Saturday and made off with $8,000 to $10,000 worth of equipment and musical instruments – they also stole the dreams and excitement of the Mighty Eagle band members set to perform Friday night at the Pasadena Unified All District Music Festival.

Even worse, the Mighty Eagles are supposed to perform at Disney land on Saturday.

Marshall Fundamental Music Teacher Joel Lopez told parents in an email that he is doing his best “to find rentals, or borrowing instruments from other schools so that students are not left out of this opportunity.”

But there’s not much time.

Parent sets up fund for donations


Lopez told parents that “about 99 percent of flutes were taken, a few trumpets, trombones and saxophones were stolen.”

Several guitar and bass amps were taken, some of them belonging to students, Lopez said.

“The suspects took the sound system that we received through a grant from PEF (Pasadena Educational Foundatrion),” Lopez said.

The suspects were reportedly visible on videos shot by the school’s camera system and a police report was filed.

“The thieves in this incident have stolen from children and are depriving them of opportunities to play and learn music,” said Adam Wolfson, Director of Communications and Community Engagement for Pasadena Unified. “If the public has any knowledge about the theft we encourage them to contact the Pasadena Police Department.”

Lopez said that none of the instruments in the instrument storage lockers was taken.

“The music program needs more individual storage lockers to ensure safety for all instruments both private and school-owned,” Lopez said in his email to band member parents. “I hope that we can all contribute to the purchase of these storage lockers. I will do my best to find grants and other fundraising needs to purchase new lockers and would ask you to join me.”

Jane Bradford, Marshall Music Booster President for the past 10 years, told parents via email that the Boosters have applied for two grants (one from the Tournament of Roses, and another from the Pasadena Showcase House) to purchase locked storage.

“We are not sure yet whether those grants will come through, or not! If anyone wants to make a donation towards more locked storage, please send in a check, designating it for storage, and payable to Marshall Music Boosters,” Bradford said.

Members of the public wishing to help may email  Marshall Music Booster President Jane Bradford at or call Marshall Fundamental School music teacher Joel Lopez at (626) 396-5810.